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List Of Wealthiest Americans Includes More Than Bluebloods

October 15, 1985

NEW YORK (AP) _ There are du Ponts, Rockefellers and Gettys on the list of the 400 richest people in America, but there is also a former cowboy star, the publisher of a skin magazine and the creator of ″All In The Family.″

Who is the richest man in America? It is Sam Moore Walton of Bentonville, Ark., according to the annual ″Forbes 400,″ which will appear in the Oct. 28 issue of Forbes magazine.

Walton, founder of the Wal-Mart discount stores, has a net worth $2.8 billion. He was second last year.

Gordon Getty, who topped last year’s list with $4.1 billion, fell to 15th with $950 million - his share of the family’s oil trust, which he recently agreed to share with other family members.

The second-richest man in America is H. Ross Perot of Dallas, who sold his holdings in Electronic Data Systems to General Motors Corp. last year and is worth $1.8 billion.

There were 14 billionaires on the list, up two from last year. The ″poorest″ of the richest are worth $150 million.

Gene Autry, the cowboy star and businessman, was listed at $150 million. Robert Guccione, publisher of Penthouse magazine, is worth $220 million. Norman Lear, who gave the nation ″All In The Family,″ is worth $175 million.

Malcolm Forbes was rich enough to make his own list, but his net worth is a mystery. It is estimated by other publications at between $200 million and $500 million, but Forbes himself says, ″I don’t know.″

Media holdings were hot, making billionaires of John Kluge and S.I. and Donald Newhouse and adding newcomer Rupert Murdoch, whose publishing empire has earned him $300 million.

Because oil prices fell, seven Texas oilmen who appeared last year failed to make it this year. Four Rockefellers were dropped, although eight remain. Death and financial setbacks removed 53 other names, as well.

The list provides a fascinating picture of the country’s richest people.

The average age is 62.5, and the average net worth is $335 million. Only 165 of the 400 built their fortunes without inheritances.

There are 14 immigrants, 78 women, and at least eight high school dropouts. Forty-one of the men and 37 of the women are unmarried, and 113 have been divorced.

The youngest is 28-year-old Abby Rockefeller Simpson of New York, worth an inherited $200 million. The oldest is 93-year-old Dorothy Bullitt of Seattle, who is worth $275 million from broadcasting.

Not all of the wealthy are well known.

Frozen pizza and canned Chinese food helped Luigino Francesco Paulucci, 67, make the list with $350 million. James Jaeger, 37, accumulated $175 million with automotive radar detectors. And William Norman Pennington of Reno, Nev., and William Gordon Bennet of Las Vegas have made $430 million in casinos - as owners, not gamblers.

At the top of the list is the 67-year-old Walton, who opened his first Wal- Mart discount store in 1962. Most of the 745 stores today are located in small Sunbelt towns.

″We believe in having fun in business,″ Walton says, and he lives up to his statement. He danced a hula on Wall Street last year when profit goals were met, and he has been known to lead cheers at company pep rallies.

But he still lives modestly in Arkansas, where he drives an old car, hunts quail and has his morning cup in a local coffee shop.

Perot, 55, of Dallas, was fourth on the list last year.

David Packard, the 73-year-old chairman of Hewlett-Packard, was third with $1.5 billion. Margaret Hunt Hill of Dallas, who inherited money from her father, H.L. Hunt, was fourth with $1.4 billion.

A second of H.L. Hunt’s daughters, Caroline Rose Hunt Schoellkopf, 62, was fifth with $1.3 billion. Samuel I. Newhouse Jr., 57, and brother Donald Newhouse, 56, share a $2.2 billion fortune.

Seven others are worth at least $1 billion: David Rockefeller, 70, of New York City; Henry Lee Hillman, 66, of Pittsburgh; John Werner Kluge, 71, of Charlottesville, Va.; Harry Helmsley, 76, of New York City; Marvin Davis, 60, of Denver and Beverly Hills; Warren Edward Buffett, 55, of Omaha; and Leslie Herbert Wexner, 48, of Columbus, Ohio.

Six states have more than half the super rich. Eighty live in New York, 49 in California, 44 in Texas, 23 in Florida, and 21 in Delaware and in Illinois.

Among those who were on the list in 1984 but failed to make it this year were Apple Computer founder Steven Jobs, publisher and New York Mets owner Nelson Doubleday Jr. and John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono.

James Haller Ottaway Sr. did not make it, either, despite a fortune of $147 million. The New York publisher was 401st.

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